Speeches

Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements

October 29, 2020

Right now there's a thousand-page report sitting on someone's desk, probably on several ministerial desks. It's the report of the royal commission into last summer's bushfires. It's beyond me why it wasn't automatically released. It was delivered yesterday. Why haven't we seen it immediately? It's a report that's meant to inform decisions being made already for the present bushfire season. There are 80 recommendations the commission believes can improve the way bushfire seasons are managed—the lessons learnt: the lessons that might improve the preparation, the campaign, the recovery, the things government can change to do differently, the things this government can do better.

Yet, for some reason, the Prime Minister decides he should just sit on the report till tomorrow afternoon, Friday afternoon, the classic take-out-the-trash time when the government delivers the reports or the announcements it really doesn't want us to look at. There can only be two reasons. One is he wants time to spin it. The other is that it just isn't a priority. Both of those are disrespectful. It's disrespectful to the families of the people who died in last season's fires. It's disrespectful to the people who lost their homes. It's disrespectful to the people who lost property and still have uncleared land. It's disrespectful to the people who fought the fires and those who are already out fighting this season's fires. The report should be released today.

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